CNG bus operators ask DOE to revive program on natural gas‏

September 1, 2010 10:30 am 

MANILA, Aug. 31 — Operators of buses using compressed natural gas (CNG) urged the Department of Energy (DOE) to also include and revive the programs on the Natural Gas Vehicle Program for Public Transport (NGVPPT).

In a five pages letter to Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, bus operators belonging to the TICOM Co. Inc., stressed the need to give due importance on the government's NGVPPT project which was launched in 2004.

“The NGVPPT is a viable program that could answer a lot of problems not only in power generation but also in transportation, as it also spurs related and supplemental programs that will encourage private sector investment and participation,” the letter stated.

Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed last February 2004 Executive Order 290 which created the NGVPPT, envisioned to enhance energy supply security in the transport sector through fuel diversification using indigenous natural gas.

“We reiterate our uncertainties on the viability of the NGVPPT but given our investments on the said project and the benefits not only to bus operators but ultimately the commuters, we have come up with suggestion for the completion and expansion of the NGVPPT,” the operators said.

Roberto Torres of RRCG Transport System Co., head of the bus operators also asked Almendras to look for alternative CNG mother-daughter facilities aside from the facilities operated by Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp.

According to the CNG bus owners, the facilities of Shell only started operations middle of 2008 and since then had ceased to operate.

Under the program, 200 CNG buses will be the initial customers of the Shell facilities but so far there are only 60 CNG buses operating.

The construction and installation of an alternative CNG mother-daughter facility by allowing and supporting a consortium of accredited downstream operators, to build and operate said facility that shall augment the existing CNG refueling station of Shell, they said.

While Shell and Chevron have indicated an intention to give up their CNG facilities, the operators said it would still be difficult to encourage investors to put its investment on the CNG project.

Shell is currently supplying CNG to around 17 buses instead of the entire 60 CNG-fueled buses.

Meantime, the operators asked DOE to also find other source of natural gas to fuel the CNG buses aside from Shell.

The group said research and exploratory talks with the National Power Corp. has revealed the possibility and feasibility of tapping the 1,200 Ilijian combined cycle natural gas power for the fuel source.

The Ilijan power plant has excess natural gas they said and could accomodate at least up to 2,000 buses.

“The plant’s existing gas receiving facility (located in its outer perimeter) where the natural gas from Shell pass through, has already built-in by pass line that can easily be tapped to provide fuel to a mother station, which can be built nearby,” the letter further said. (PNA) V3/MSN/utb

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  1. CNG Bus Operators Urge DOE to Revive NG Transportation Program | NGV Global on September 2nd, 2010 8:15 am

    […] to reinvigorate the the Natural Gas Vehicle Program for Public Transport (NGVPPT), according to a balita-dot-ph report. The bus operators said they have drafted proposals on how the various issues could be […]